Three-finger-width straps. Fingertips must touch shorts. No holes in pants above the knee. These typical school dress code rules are made to measure quickly, so that when you’re doing back-to-school shopping, you can tell at glance if a top will get the okay from your homeroom teacher or if those shorts will get you sent to the principal’s office.
But is that all a KatharosNOW girl should shoot for? Passing dress code? Not getting in trouble? We Christians should want to get noticed not for our cute bodies, but for our strong characters. God wants us to be “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom [we] shine as lights of the world” (Philippians 2:15). Shining like a star does not mean your back-to-school wardrobe is the cutest, most original, or most costly of anyone at school: it means the way you dress reflects a girl who is pure of heart and gentle of spirit (1 Peter 3:4).
A worldly girl approaches school dress code rules like obstacles: The solution to not showing too much skin is wearing a skintight shirt, she reasons, and the worry of exposing the top of skimpy panties is fixed with a longer tank that usually covers up the top of her jeans. Bra straps not allowed to peek out? No problem, she thinks, buying some strapless or racer-back bras. These are answers some girls come up with to obey the rules while still looking sexy. But a Christian girl should remember that attention from guys because of the way she’s dressed does not mean she’s shining as a light: it means she’s pointing her classmates’ minds in the wrong direction.
Christians are supposed to be the salt of the world – helping to preserve the souls of those around her, just like salt did for meat during Bible times. So how can a back-to-school wardrobe reflect a Christian girl’s heart and preserve the hearts of her male classmates? By aiming for more than good enough. Here are some strategies for a KatharosNOW girl’s school clothes that do more than just pass:
- XS is not a must: Don’t buy the smallest size you can fit into; buy the size that gives you plenty of room to move and feel comfortable, that doesn’t hug your every curve.
- Accessorize with style: If your clothes can’t follow trends because of your modesty pledge, go for classic looks and then buy some trendy accessories: jewelry, belts, headbands, and the like.
- Be picky: You will probably have to look through several stores, online or at the mall, before finding shorts that aren’t mom or guy shorts, but still manage to extend well below the fingertip rule. Don’t stay in a super-cute store so long that your judgment becomes clouded either. Forever 21 has a ton of shorts, but if you start comparing them, you’ll find that although one pair might be a bit longer than another, they’re all extremely short. Your body is worth preserving, so try a different store to find modest clothes.